Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 1st November 2017

Owning a motorbike is an amazing experience, but when you have the chance to customise it, there’s an opportunity to indulge your creative side. Customisation comes in many forms, such as changing the paint of a motorbike, or modifying it with different parts. A great way to make your beloved vehicle stand out is by giving it a steampunk makeover. What is steampunk you ask? Well, it’s like marmite, either you love it or hate it, but it’s definitely eye-catching.

What is steampunk?

Steampunk is a mash-up of Victorian engineering and modern day technology. There are lots of gears, cogs and other shiny parts involved. It shows a love for the past that can be translated into the present. The genre was influenced and adopted from writers such as Jules Verne and H.G Wells. Today, it’s evolved into one of the most popular design choices in the world, and there’s plenty to get involved with.

Is steampunk popular in the motorbike industry?

Customising a motorbike to look like it was from the past is nothing new, but steampunk isn’t about copying an established style. It’s about updating a motorbike to fit your personal vision. The most interesting steampunk motorbikes are the ones that strike a balance between functionality and looking as if they could exist in a Victorian world.

A recent example of a steampunk inspired motorbike is Urban Motor’s Jawa Sprint model. The bike was based on a 1964 Jawa 350 and Urban Motors built a new chassis out of steel tubing. They installed a Jikov carburetor and suspension that featured integrated handlebars. Smaller details included leather wrapped grips, an exposed throttle assembly and matte gold forks. The result was a retro vehicle that looked as if it could move quickly on the road.

Coppers and cogs

Credit: barnettharley.com

 

Another interesting steampunk roadster is the Gustav Skippone, built by Belarus-based Yuri Shif. Featuring a 107ci S&S V-Twin engine and Harley springer handling suspension, the Gustav was a sturdy bike. The cream paint job and copper tubing made it stand out even more.

What kind of materials do you need for a steampunk motorbike?

Classic steampunk materials are copper, brass, steel, iron, gears, rivets and leather. If you’re planning to create your own steampunk motorbike, it could be worth purchasing an older model and restoring it.

By restoring an older model, you have complete control over how you want to design it. You could build a custom tank by welding steel sheets together, or install copper tubing. Another great way to build a steampunk vehicle is by using recycled parts.

Steampunk fans and motorbike owners are similar because they’re completely dedicated to a lifestyle. A steampunk motorbike represents an appreciation for the past and an enjoyment for the present.